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Case 8:11-cv-01595-SDM-EAJ

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA PANAMA CITY DIVISION

SLEP-TONE ENTERTAINMENT CORPORATION, Plaintiff,

v.

ARTHUR ALLEN; BRAND X ENTERTAINMENT; CURTIS DAVIS; BRANDON LYNCH; DONOVAN’S REEF LOUNGE & PACKAGE STORE, INC.; GREEN GLASS MALL, INC.; ROBERT T IAVARONE; CRAIG BOYD; DAN SPRING; BIG LOU, INC.; ANTHONY E REBELLO; JAIMI PUTZKE; MATT ALLEN; KLAUDETTE’S KARAOKE; CLAUDETTE R ERVIN; ROBERT ERVIN; BRITANNIA PUBS LLC; TONEJAM L.L.C.; ALL MUSIC PRODUCTIONS, LLC; DAN LEWIS; LANCE G MARTIN; ABRAHAM F OTTO; KMJ ENTERTAINMENT INC; ANTHONY GRIFFIN; ALWAYS ENTERTAINMENT; RUSSELL HOLLIDAY; MELISSA DESRUISSEAUX; JONATHAN HANSON; BYRON K SUTTON; MALCOLM BONDS; SONNY L SCHENCK; DARLENE SALA; STARZ N BARZ KARAOKE; DOMINIQUE GRIFFIN; MATHEW GRIFFIN; RICK PAYNE; CHARLES CASEY ASTON; KARAOKE WITH BILL & JOSE; BILL MASON; JOHN DOE NO. 1; CASEY BURROUGH; and JOHN DOE NO. 2,

Defendants.

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Civil Action No. 5:11cv69

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COMPLAINT

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The Plaintiff, Slep-Tone Entertainment Corporation (“Slep-Tone”), by its

undersigned counsel, complains of the Defendants and for its complaint alleges as

follows:

INTRODUCTION

Slep-Tone is the manufacturer and distributor of karaoke accompaniment

tracks sold under the name “Sound Choice.” Slep-Tone was founded 25 years ago

by Kurt and Derek Slep, two brothers with a vision to nurture the development of

karaoke in America as a participatory entertainment phenomenon. During that

time, Sound Choice came to be recognized as one of the leading producers of high-

quality karaoke accompaniment tracks. The company invested over $18 million to

re-record and replicate the authentic sound of popular music across different eras

and genres of music.

The Sleps’ dedication to producing music of the highest quality and the most

authentic character led its music to become the staple of almost every karaoke

show in the country. As karaoke grew in popularity, Sound Choice became the

brand that nearly every karaoke fan wanted to sing and that nearly every karaoke

jockey (“KJ”) wanted in his or her library.

KJs play karaoke songs using compact discs containing files written in one

of two special encoded formats, either “CD+G” (“compact disc plus graphics”) or

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“MP3G” (“MP3 1 plus graphics”), in which the disc contains the music and the

lyrics, which will display on a screen. In recent years, computer technology, cheap

file memory devices, and the internet have made it possible for karaoke discs to be

decoded and “ripped” (copied) to a user’s hard drive and easily copied and

distributed between KJs. This technology has proven irresistible to KJs, many of

whom have used this opportunity to copy one purchased disc to several different

computer based systems, copy a singer’s personal discs if they use them during a

show, “swap” song files among each other, download them from illegal file-

sharing sites and build libraries of tens of thousands of karaoke songs without

paying for them. Whereas in the past a KJ would buy multiple copies of an

original disc if he or she desired to operate multiple systems, now they simply

“clone” their songs for multiple commercial systems or even their entire karaoke

song libraries to start a new operation.

Additionally, many KJs or operators

starting in the business simply buy computer drives pre-loaded with thousands of

illegally copied songs.

These practices have become so widespread that Slep-Tone and its sister

company, Sound Choice Studios, Inc., have been driven nearly out of business. At

its peak, the Sound Choice family of companies employed 75 individuals and

1 MP3 is an acronym standing for “Moving Picture Experts Group Audio Layer 3.” MP3G is a far newer format than CD+G and is significantly more portable than CD+G. The Plaintiff has only recently begun distributing its karaoke tracks in this format, and only under tight contractual controls that require user registration and audits, confine possession to professional karaoke operators, include serialization of licensed discs, and prohibit file sharing under pain of forfeiture of license rights.

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produced as many as 5 new karaoke discs per month. Today, the enterprise

employs fewer than 10 individuals. Sound Choice Studios, which is responsible

for production of new material, has virtually ceased making new discs, because the

companies have lost money on every recent new karaoke disc. The most recent

new disc did not produce enough revenue even to cover the production and

licensing costs associated with it—yet the songs from that disc can be found on as

many as 30,000 karaoke systems around the United States.

For KJs, karaoke is a commercial enterprise. KJs who legitimately acquired

all of their music at great cost are being forced by illicit competition to produce

shows for lower and lower fees. Illegitimate competitors offer libraries of tens of

thousands of songs, which would have cost $50,000 to $100,000 or more to

acquire legitimately, but produce shows for one-third the rates a legitimate KJ can

offer. The result is significant financial pressure on once-legitimate KJs to skirt or

ignore the law and become pirates, simply to stay in business.

Slep-Tone has been forced to undertake this litigation in order to ensure that

it survives and continues to produce the high-quality karaoke music its fans

demand and to level the playing field for the legitimate KJs.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

1. This is an action for trademark infringement and unfair competition arising

under §§ 32 and 43 of the Trademark Act of 1946, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1114 and

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1125. This Court has exclusive jurisdiction over the subject matter of this

action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, in that this is a civil action arising

under the laws of the United States.

2. This Court further has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C § 1338(a), in that

this civil action arises under an Act of Congress relating to trademarks, and,

as to the Plaintiff’s Lanham Act unfair competition claim, pursuant to 28

U.S.C. § 1338(b), in that the claim is joined with a substantial and related

claim under the trademark laws of the United States.

3. This Court has supplemental jurisdiction over the subject matter of the

Plaintiff’s state-law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a), in that those

claims are so related to the Plaintiff’s federal claims that they form part of

the same case or controversy.

4. Alternatively, this Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the

Plaintiff’s state-law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), in that this is an

action between citizens of different States, and the matter in controversy

exceeds the sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs.

5. Venue is proper in this judicial district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b),

because all of the defendants reside in this State, and at least one of the

defendants resides in this judicial district.

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THE PLAINTIFF

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6. Plaintiff SLEP-TONE is a North Carolina corporation having its principal

place of business at 14100 South Lakes Drive, Charlotte, North Carolina.

THE DEFENDANTS

7. Defendant ARTHUR ALLEN is an individual who has his principal place of

business in Panama City Beach, Florida. Defendant ARTHUR ALLEN is

engaged in the business of providing karaoke entertainment, and he conducts

his business activities at multiple venues in this State.

8. Defendant BRAND X ENTERTAINMENT is an unincorporated association

and, upon information and belief, a general partnership whose general

partners include at least Defendant CURTIS DAVIS and Defendant

BRANDON LYNCH. Defendant BRAND X ENTERTAINMENT has its

principal place of business in Tallahassee, Florida, and is engaged in the

business of providing karaoke entertainment, conducting its business

activities at multiple venues in this State.

9. Defendant DONOVAN’S REEF LOUNGE & PACKAGE STORE, INC. is

a Florida corporation having its principal place of business in Panama City

Beach, Florida, at which it operates a drinking and karaoke establishment of

that name.

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10. Defendant GREEN GLASS MALL, INC. is a Florida corporation that does

business as SWEET DREAMS SING & DANCE HALL, a drinking and

karaoke establishment. Defendant GREEN GLASS MALL, INC., has its

principal place of business in Panama City Beach, Florida.

11. Upon information and belief, Defendants DONOVAN’S REEF LOUNGE &

PACKAGE STORE, INC. and GREEN GLASS MALL, INC. are under

common ownership and control.

12. Defendant ROBERT T IAVARONE is an individual who does business as

“Time Machine Productions” and who has his principal business address in

Orlando, Florida. Defendant ROBERT T IAVARONE is engaged in the

business of providing karaoke entertainment, and he conducts his business

activities at multiple venues in this State.

13. Defendant CRAIG BOYD is an individual who has his principal business

address in Apopka, Florida. Defendant CRAIG BOYD is engaged in the

business of providing karaoke entertainment, and he conducts his business

activities at one or more venues in this State.

14. Defendant DAN SPRING is an individual who does business as “Dan The

Man” and who has his principal business address in Orlando, Florida.

Defendant DAN SPRING is engaged in the business of providing karaoke

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entertainment, and he conducts his business activities at one or more venues

in this State.

15. Defendant BIG LOU, INC. is a Florida corporation with its principal

business address in or near Winter Park, Florida. Defendant BIG LOU,

INC. operates an eating and drinking establishment known as “Devaney’s

Sports Pub” at which karaoke entertainment is provided.

16. Defendant ANTHONY E REBELLO is an individual who does business as

“Genre Entertainment” and who has his principal business address in

Dundee, Florida. Defendant ANTHONY E REBELLO is engaged in the

business of providing karaoke entertainment, and he conducts his business

activities at one or more venues in this State.

17. Defendant JAIMI PUTZKE is an individual who does business as “Karaoke

Nights” and who has her principal business address in Winter Springs,

Florida. Defendant JAIMI PUTZKE is engaged in the business of providing

karaoke entertainment, and she conducts her business activities at one or

more venues in this State.

18. Defendant MATT ALLEN is an individual who does business as “Karaoke

Unlimited” and who has his principal business address in or near Orlando,

Florida. Defendant MATT ALLEN is engaged in the business of providing

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karaoke entertainment, and he conducts his business activities at multiple

venues in this State.

19. Defendant KLAUDETTE’S KARAOKE is an unincorporated association

and, upon information and belief, a general partnership whose general

partners include at least Defendant CLAUDETTE R ERVIN and Defendant

ROBERT ERVIN.

20. Defendants CLAUDETTE R ERVIN and ROBERT ERVIN are individuals

who together operate Defendant KLAUDETTE’S KARAOKE, and who

have their principal business address in or near Altamonte Springs, Florida.

Defendant KLAUDETTE’S KARAOKE and its general partners are

engaged in the business of providing karaoke entertainment, and they

conduct their business activities at multiple venues in this State.

21. Defendant BRITANNIA PUBS LLC is a Florida limited liability company

having its principal place of business in Orlando, Florida. Defendant

BRITANNIA PUBS LLC operates an eating and drinking establishment

known as “Orlando George and Dragon” at which karaoke entertainment is

provided.

22. Defendant TONEJAM L.L.C. is a Florida limited liability company having

its principal place of business in Winter Garden, Florida. Defendant

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TONEJAM L.L.C. is in the business of providing karaoke entertainment and

it conducts its business activities at multiple venues in this State.

23. Defendant ALL MUSIC PRODUCTIONS, LLC is an unincorporated

association and, upon information and belief, a general partnership whose

general partners include at least Defendant DAN LEWIS, Defendant

LANCE G MARTIN, and Defendant ABRAHAM F OTTO.

24. Defendants DAN LEWIS, LANCE G MARTIN, and ABRAHAM F OTTO

are individuals who together operate Defendant ALL MUSIC

PRODUCTIONS, LLC, and who have their principal business address in or

near Winter Haven, Florida. Defendant ALL MUSIC PRODUCTIONS,

LLC and its general partners are engaged in the business of providing

karaoke entertainment, and they conduct their business activities at one or

more venues in this State.

25. Defendant KMJ ENTERTAINMENT INC is a Florida corporation with its

principal business address in Altamonte Springs, Florida. Defendant KMJ

ENTERTAINMENT INC is in the business of providing karaoke

entertainment and it conducts its business activities at a venue in this State.

26. Defendant ANTHONY GRIFFIN is an individual who does business as

“Rockstar Karaoke & DJ Services” and who has his principal business

address in or near New Port Richey, Florida. Defendant ANTHONY

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GRIFFIN is engaged in the business of providing karaoke entertainment, and

he conducts his business activities at multiple venues in this State.

27. Defendant ALWAYS ENTERTAINMENT is an unincorporated association

and, upon information and belief, a general partnership whose general

partners include at least Defendant RUSSELL HOLLIDAY and Defendant

MELISSA DESRUISSEAUX.

28. Defendants RUSSELL HOLLIDAY and MELISSA DESRUISSEAUX are

individuals who together operate Defendant ALWAYS

ENTERTAINMENT, and who have their principal business address in or

near Davenport, Florida. Defendant ALWAYS ENTERTAINMENT and its

general partners are engaged in the business of providing karaoke

entertainment, and they conduct their business activities at multiple venues

in this State.

29. Defendant JONATHAN HANSON is an individual who has his principal

business address in or near Orlando, Florida. Defendant JONATHAN

HANSON is engaged in the business of providing karaoke entertainment,

and he conducts his business activities at one or more venues in this State.

30. Defendant BYRON K SUTTON is an individual who has his principle

business address in Kissimmee, Florida. Defendant BYRON K SUTTON

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operates an eating and drinking establishment, known as Blue Max Tavern,

at which karaoke entertainment is provided.

31. Defendant MALCOLM BONDS is an individual who does business as “DJ

Double Oh!” and who has his principal business address in or near Orlando,

Florida. Defendant MALCOLM BONDS is engaged in the business of

providing karaoke entertainment, and he conducts his business activities at

one or more venues in this State.

32. Defendant SONNY L SCHENCK is an individual who does business as

“Lighter Side Karaoke and Entertainment” and who has his principal

business address in or near North Fort Myers, Florida. Defendant SONNY

L SCHENCK is engaged in the business of providing karaoke entertainment,

and he conducts his business activities at multiple venues in this State.

33. Defendant DARLENE SALA is an individual who does business as

“Fantasy Karaoke” and as “Karaoke by Darlene” and who has her principal

business address in or near Hudson, Florida. Defendant DARLENE SALA

is engaged in the business of providing karaoke entertainment, and she

conducts her business activities at one or more venues in this State.

34. Defendant STARZ N BARZ KARAOKE is an unincorporated association

and, upon information and belief, a general partnership whose general

partners include at least Defendant DOMINIQUE GRIFFIN and Defendant

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MATHEW GRIFFIN. These defendants do business as “Starz N Barz

Karaoke” and as “Matinique Entertainment.”

35. Defendants DOMINIQUE GRIFFIN and MATHEW GRIFFIN are

individuals who together operate Defendant STARZ N BARZ KARAOKE,

and who have their principal business address in or near Weeki Wachee,

Florida. Defendant STARZ N BARZ KARAOKE and its general partners

are engaged in the business of providing karaoke entertainment, and they

conduct their business activities at one or more venues in this State.

36. Defendant RICK PAYNE is an individual who has his principal business

address in or near Orlando, Florida. Defendant RICK PAYNE is engaged in

the business of providing karaoke entertainment, and he conducts his

business activities at one or more venues in this State.

37. Defendant CHARLES CASEY ASTON is an individual who does business

as “Sports Time Entertainment Mobile DJ Service” and who has his

principal business address in or near Orlando, Florida. Defendant

CHARLES CASEY ASTON is engaged in the business of providing

karaoke entertainment, and he conducts his business activities at multiple

venues in this State.

38. Defendant KARAOKE WITH BILL & JOSE is an unincorporated

association and, upon information and belief, a general partnership whose

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general partners include at least Defendant BILL MASON and Defendant

JOHN DOE NO. 1. Defendant JOHN DOE NO. 1 is an individual known to

the Plaintiff only as “Jose” despite efforts to identify him by his true name.

39. Defendants BILL MASON and JOHN DOE NO. 1are individuals who

together operate Defendant KARAOKE WITH BILL & JOSE, and who

have their principal business address in or near Orlando, Florida. Defendant

KARAOKE WITH BILL & JOSE and its general partners are engaged in

the business of providing karaoke entertainment, and they conduct their

business activities at multiple venues in this State.

40. Defendant CASEY BURROUGH is an individual who has his principal

business address in or near Orlando, Florida. Defendant CASEY

BURROUGH is engaged in the business of providing karaoke

entertainment, and he conducts his business activities at one or more venues

in this State.

41. Defendant JOHN DOE NO. 2 is an individual known to the Plaintiff only as

“Tom T” despite efforts to identify him by his true name. Defendant JOHN

DOE NO. 2 is an individual who does business as “Let the Good Times

Roll” and who has his principal business address in or near Naples, Florida.

Defendant JOHN DOE NO. 2 is engaged in the business of providing

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karaoke entertainment, and he conducts his business activities at one or more

venues in this State.

BACKGROUND FACTS

42. The term “karaoke” means “empty orchestra” in Japanese. Karaoke

entertainment has grown into a multi-million dollar business in the United

States.

43. Karaoke compact disc plus graphics or MP3 plus graphics recordings

contain re-created arrangements of popular songs for use as “accompaniment

tracks.”

44. Typically, the lead vocal tracks in an accompaniment track are omitted so

that a karaoke participant can sing along, as though he or she were the lead

singer. In other situations, the lead vocal track by a sound-alike artist might

be included, and some formats allow the lead vocal to be selectively muted

upon playback so that the accompaniment track may be listened to either

with or without the lead vocals.

45. The “graphics” portion of a karaoke recording refers to the encoding of the

recording with data to provide a contemporaneous video display of the lyrics

to the song, in order to aid the performer.

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46. This graphics data is also utilized to mark the accompaniment tracks with

the Sound Choice trademarks and to cause the Sound Choice trademarks to

be displayed upon playback.

47. Entertainers who provide karaoke services in bars, restaurants, and other

venues are known as karaoke jockeys (“KJs”), karaoke hosts, or karaoke

operators. The services provided by KJs typically include providing the

karaoke music and equipment for playback, entertaining the assembled

crowd for warm-up purposes, and organizing the karaoke show by

controlling access to the stage, setting the order of performance, and

operating the karaoke equipment.

48. Typically, a KJ will maintain a catalog of songs available for performance in

order to aid participants in selecting a song to sing.

49. Legitimate KJs purchase equipment and purchase or license compact discs

containing accompaniment tracks and charge for the above-mentioned

karaoke services.

50. Many KJs, such as some of the present Defendants, obtain, copy, share,

distribute and/or sell media-shifted copies of the accompaniment tracks via

pre-loaded hard drives, USB drives, CD-R’s, or the Internet.

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51. Neither SLEP-TONE nor any of its associated companies has ever

authorized the digitization of its songs for commercial use in producing

karaoke shows.

52. SLEP-TONE tolerates, but does not authorize, the shifting of its

accompaniment tracks from the original medium to another medium, such as

a computer hard drive, provided that the KJ strictly follows SLEP-TONE’s

media-shifting policy by maintaining “one-to-one correspondence.”

53. “One-to-one correspondence” requires (1) that each track stored on an

alternative medium have originated from an original Sound Choice compact

disc; (2) that the tracks from the original Sound Choice compact disc be

shifted to one, and only one, alternative medium at a time; (3) that the KJ

maintain ownership and possession of the original Sound Choice compact

disc while its content is shifted to the alternative medium; and (4) that the

original Sound Choice compact disc not be used for any commercial purpose

while its content is shifted to the alternative medium.

54. The copying, sharing, distribution, and selling of media-shifted tracks is not

accompanied by the payment of any royalty to SLEP-TONE, nor authorized

by any license agreement.

55. SLEP-TONE and its affiliated companies pay statutory and negotiated

royalties to the owners of copyright in the underlying musical works for

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their activities in legitimately creating, copying, distributing, and selling

compact discs containing karaoke accompaniment tracks.

56. Those persons, including the Defendants, who illegitimately obtain, copy,

share, distribute, and/or sell media-shifted copies of the Plaintiff’s

accompaniment tracks do not pay royalties to the owners of copyright in the

underlying musical works.

57. SLEP-TONE and its affiliated companies have spent millions of dollars

building and maintaining studios, hiring artists, building a distribution

facility, paying royalties to copyright owners, building a company that is

capable of reliably producing high-quality karaoke versions of current and

historical musical hits, and building a brand that is one of the pre-eminent

brands in the industry.

58. The widespread creation of counterfeit copies of SLEP-TONE’s karaoke

discs has denied SLEP-TONE the benefit of its investments.

59. These counterfeits include SLEP-TONE’s registered trademarks, such that to

the consumers of the illegitimate KJs’ services, the counterfeits are virtually

indistinguishable from genuine Sound Choice materials.

60. For each of the several recent releases of new karaoke music by SLEP-

TONE, dozens of illegitimate copies of the contents of the disc have been

created, on average, for each legitimate copy sold. SLEP-TONE, its

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affiliated companies, and its licensors have lost a considerable amount of

money due to this widespread piracy.

61. Such widespread illegal copying of music has been made possible by

improving and ever cheaper computer technology and memory devices and

the easy distribution of digital content over the internet.

62. Widespread pirating of songs has contributed to the loss of more than sixty

jobs at the Plaintiff’s location in Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as several

consecutive years of operating losses, as revenues do not cover fixed costs.

63. Legitimate KJs spend thousands of dollars acquiring SLEP-TONE’s

accompaniment tracks, an irreducible overhead cost that must be recovered

over a significant number of engagements.

64. Illegitimate KJs, who acquire the songs in their libraries illegally, have an

unfair advantage over legitimate KJs, because the illegitimate KJs are able to

provide karaoke services with a considerably lower overhead cost and

significantly more songs through the pirating of SLEP-TONE’s tracks.

65. Piracy therefore unfairly increases the profits of illegitimate KJs and unfairly

decreases the profits of legitimate KJs, a condition that pressures legitimate

KJs to either commit piracy instead of doing business with SLEP-TONE and

other karaoke music producers or lose their shows to KJs offering more

songs at cheaper prices to the same venues.

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66. Because of piracy, it is nearly impossible for legitimate KJs to compete

against illegal KJs, who are able to provide less expensive karaoke services

and a greater number of tracks due to their lower overhead costs.

THE RIGHTS OF THE PLAINTIFF

67. Plaintiff SLEP-TONE is the owner of U.S. Trademark Registration No.

1,923,448 for the trademark SOUND CHOICE.

68. Plaintiff SLEP-TONE is also the owner of U.S. Trademark Registration No.

2,000,725, for a display trademark as follows:

No. 2,000,725, for a display trademark as follows: 69. Plaintiff SLEP-TONE has, for the en tire

69. Plaintiff SLEP-TONE has, for the entire time its marks (“the Sound Choice

Marks”) have been federally registered, provided the public, including the

Defendants, with notice of its federal registrations through the consistent

display of the symbol ® with its marks as used.

ACTIVITIES OF DEFENDANTS

70. Each of the Defendants has possessed, used, or authorized or benefited from

the use and display of unauthorized counterfeit goods bearing the Sound

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Choice Marks, or has provided, advertised, or authorized or benefited from

the provision of services in connection with the Sound Choice Marks.

71. Defendant ARTHUR ALLEN was observed operating a karaoke system to

produce a karaoke show at a venue in this State in which counterfeit goods

bearing the Sound Choice Marks were being used.

72. In connection with that show, Defendant ARTHUR ALLEN repeatedly

displayed the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

73. Defendant ARTHUR ALLEN has advertised or otherwise indicated that he

is in possession of a library containing at least approximately 40,000 tracks

stored on his karaoke system.

74. Defendant BRAND X ENTERTAINMENT, operating through its general

partners Defendants CURTIS DAVIS and BRANDON LYNCH, operates a

karaoke system to produce karaoke shows at venues in this State in which

counterfeit goods bearing the Sound Choice Marks are used.

75. Defendants BRAND X ENTERTAINMENT, CURTIS DAVIS, and

BRANDON LYNCH have advertised or otherwise indicated that they are in

a possession of a library containing more than 30,000 tracks and as many as

65,000 tracks stored on their karaoke system.

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76. The library possessed by Defendants BRAND X ENTERTAINMENT,

CURTIS DAVIS, and BRANDON LYNCH contains a substantial number

of karaoke tracks marked with the Sound Choice Marks.

77. Upon information and belief, Defendant BRAND X ENTERTAINMENT

and its general partners possess the ability to download karaoke

accompaniment tracks on demand for use at their karaoke shows, and have

done so on many occasions.

78. Defendant DONOVAN’S REEF LOUNGE & PACKAGE STORE, INC.

was observed, acting through an employee or contractor, operating a karaoke

system to produce a karaoke show at its Panama City Beach location in

which counterfeit goods bearing the Sound Choice Marks were being used.

79. In connection with that show, Defendant DONOVAN’S REEF LOUNGE &

PACKAGE STORE, INC. repeatedly displayed the Sound Choice Marks

without right or license.

80. Defendant DONOVAN’S REEF LOUNGE & PACKAGE STORE, INC.

has advertised or otherwise indicated that it is in possession of a library

containing more than 10,000 tracks stored on its karaoke system.

81. Upon information and belief, Defendant DONOVAN’S REEF LOUNGE &

PACKAGE STORE, INC. offers karaoke entertainment to its customers

each day on which it is open for business.

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82. Upon information and belief, Defendant GREEN GLASS MALL, INC.,

operating through an employee or contractor, operates a karaoke system to

produce karaoke shows at its Panama City Beach location in which

counterfeit goods bearing the Sound Choice Marks are used.

83. In connection with those shows, Defendant GREEN GLASS MALL, INC.

repeatedly displays the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

84. Upon information and belief, Defendant GREEN GLASS MALL, INC.

offers karaoke entertainment to its customers each day on which it is open

for business.

85. Upon information and belief, Defendant DONOVAN’S REEF LOUNGE &

PACKAGE STORE, INC. and Defendant GREEN GLASS MALL, INC.

have shared unauthorized counterfeit copies of karaoke accompaniment

tracks bearing the Sound Choice Marks between one another.

86. Defendant ROBERT T IAVARONE was observed operating a karaoke

system to produce a karaoke show at a venue in this State in which

counterfeit goods bearing the Sound Choice Marks were being used.

87. In connection with that show, Defendant ROBERT T IAVARONE

repeatedly displayed the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

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88. Defendant ROBERT T IAVARONE has advertised or otherwise indicated

that he is in possession of a library containing more than 80,000 tracks

stored on his karaoke system.

89. Upon information and belief, ROBERT T IAVARONE hosted as many as

eighteen karaoke shows per week with a staff of five employees.

90. Upon information and belief, ROBERT T IAVARONE operates, or at one

point operated, at least three and as many as six separate karaoke systems to

produce karaoke shows at venues in this State.

91. Upon information and belief, each of Defendant ROBERT T IAVARONE’s

karaoke systems includes a library containing more than 80,000

accompaniment tracks.

92. Defendant CRAIG BOYD was observed operating a karaoke system to

produce a karaoke show at a venue in this State in which counterfeit goods

bearing the Sound Choice Marks were being used.

93. In connection with that show, Defendant CRAIG BOYD repeatedly

displayed the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

94. Defendant CRAIG BOYD has advertised or otherwise indicated that he is in

possession of a library containing more than 70,000 tracks stored on his

karaoke system.

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95. Defendant DAN SPRING was observed operating a karaoke system to

produce a karaoke show at defendant BIG LOU, INC.’s establishment

Devaney’s Sports Pub, in which counterfeit goods bearing the Sound Choice

Marks were being used.

96. Upon information and belief, the karaoke system described in the preceding

paragraph is directly owned by Defendant DAN SPRING and/or by

Defendant BIG LOU, INC.

97. In connection with that show, defendant DAN SPRING repeatedly displayed

the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

98. Defendant DAN SPRING has advertised or otherwise indicated that he is in

possession of a library containing more than 76,000 tracks stored on his

karaoke system.

99. Defendant DAN SPRING has advertised or otherwise indicated that he will

put approximately 77,000 karaoke tracks on a hard drive for $50.

100. Upon information and belief, Defendant DAN SPRING supplied Defendant

BIG LOU, INC. with its karaoke library.

101. Upon information and belief, Defendant BIG LOU, INC. is in possession of

a library containing more than 76,000 tracks stored on its karaoke system.

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102. Defendant ANTHONY E REBELLO was observed operating a karaoke

system to produce a karaoke show at a venue in this State in which

counterfeit goods bearing the Sound Choice Marks were being used.

103. In connection with that show, Defendant ANTHONY E REBELLO

repeatedly displayed the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

104. Defendant ANTHONY E REBELLO has advertised or otherwise indicated

that he is in possession of a library containing between 200,000 and 300,000

tracks stored on his karaoke system.

105. Defendant JAIMI PUTZKE was observed operating a karaoke system to

produce a karaoke show at a venue in this State in which counterfeit goods

bearing the Sound Choice Marks were being used.

106. In connection with that show, Defendant JAIMI PUTZKE repeatedly

displayed the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

107. Defendant JAIMI PUTZKE has advertised or otherwise indicated that she is

in possession of a library containing more than 50,000 tracks stored on her

karaoke system.

108. Defendant MATT ALLEN was observed operating a karaoke system to

produce a karaoke show at a venue in this State in which counterfeit goods

bearing the Sound Choice Marks were being used.

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109. In connection with that show, Defendant MATT ALLEN repeatedly

displayed the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

110. Defendant MATT ALLEN has advertised or otherwise indicated that he is in

possession of a library containing more than 130,000 tracks stored on his

karaoke system.

111. Defendant KLAUDETTE’S KARAOKE was observed operating a karaoke

system to produce a karaoke show at a venue in this State in which

counterfeit goods bearing the Sound Choice Marks were being used.

112. In connection with that show, Defendant KLAUDETTE’S KARAOKE

repeatedly displayed the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

113. Defendant KLAUDETTE’S KARAOKE has advertised or otherwise

indicated that it is in possession of a library containing between 40,000 and

50,000 tracks stored on its karaoke system.

114. Defendant BRITANNIA PUBS LLC was observed operating, through

Defendant TONEJAM L.L.C., a karaoke system to produce a karaoke show

at the Orlando George & Dragon establishment in which counterfeit goods

bearing the Sound Choice Marks were being used.

115. Upon information and belief, the karaoke system described in the preceding

paragraph is directly owned by Defendant BRITANNIA PUBS LLC and/or

by Defendant TONEJAM L.L.C.

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116. In connection with that show, Defendant BRITANNIA PUBS LLC acting

through Defendant TONEJAM L.L.C. repeatedly displayed the Sound

Choice Marks without right or license.

117. Defendant BRITANNIA PUBS LLC has advertised or otherwise indicated

that it is in possession of a library containing more than 20,000 tracks stored

on its karaoke system.

118. Defendant TONEJAM L.L.C. has advertised or otherwise indicated that it is

in possession of a library containing between 30,000 and 40,000 tracks

stored on its karaoke system.

119. Defendant TONEJAM L.L.C. has indicated that it supplied Defendant

BRITANNIA PUBS LLC with some of its karaoke library.

120. Defendant ALL MUSIC PRODUCTIONS, LLC was observed operating a

karaoke system to produce a karaoke show at a venue in this State in which

counterfeit goods bearing the Sound Choice Marks were being used.

121. In connection with that show, Defendant ALL MUSIC PRODUCTIONS,

LLC repeatedly displayed the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

122. Defendant ALL MUSIC PRODUCTIONS, LLC has advertised or otherwise

indicated that it is in possession of a library containing at least 110,000

tracks stored on its karaoke system.

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123. Defendant KMJ ENTERTAINMENT INC was observed operating a

karaoke system to produce a karaoke show at a venue in this State in which

counterfeit goods bearing the Sound Choice Marks were being used.

124. In connection with that show, Defendant KMJ ENTERTAINMENT INC

repeatedly displayed the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

125. Defendant KMJ ENTERTAINMENT INC has advertised or otherwise

indicated that it is in possession of a library containing more than 12,000

tracks stored on its karaoke system.

126. Defendant ANTHONY GRIFFIN was observed operating a karaoke system

to produce a karaoke show at a venue in this State in which counterfeit

goods bearing the Sound Choice Marks were being used.

127. In connection with that show, Defendant ANTHONY GRIFFIN repeatedly

displayed the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

128. Defendant ANTHONY GRIFFIN has advertised or otherwise indicated that

he is in possession of a library containing more than 28,000 tracks stored his

karaoke system.

129. Defendant ANTHONY GRIFFIN operates at least two separate karaoke

systems to produce karaoke shows at venues in this State.

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130. Upon information and belief, each of Defendant ANTHONY GRIFFIN’s

karaoke systems includes a library containing more than 28,000

accompaniment tracks.

131. Defendant ALWAYS ENTERTAINMENT was observed operating a

karaoke system to produce a karaoke show at a venue in this State in which

counterfeit goods bearing the Sound Choice Marks were being used.

132. In connection with that show, Defendant ALWAYS ENTERTAINMENT

repeatedly displayed the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

133. Defendant ALWAYS ENTERTAINMENT has advertised or otherwise

indicated that it in possession of a library containing more than 8,000 tracks

stored on its karaoke system.

134. Defendant ALWAYS ENTERTAINMENT regularly performs karaoke

shows in at least two separate venues simultaneously.

135. Defendant ALWAYS ENTERTAINMENT operates at least two separate

karaoke systems to produce karaoke shows at venues in this State.

136. Upon information and belief, each of Defendant ALWAYS

ENTERTAINMENT’s karaoke systems includes a library containing more

than 8,000 accompaniment tracks.

137. Defendant ALWAYS ENTERTAINMENT has indicated that it downloads

karaoke songs from three different websites.

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138. Defendant JONATHAN HANSON was observed operating a karaoke

system to produce a karaoke show at a venue in this State in which

counterfeit goods bearing the Sound Choice Marks were being used.

139. In connection with that show, Defendant JONATHAN HANSON repeatedly

displayed the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

140. Defendant JONATHAN HANSON has advertised or otherwise indicated

that he is in possession of a library containing more than 70,000 tracks

stored on his karaoke system.

141. Defendant BYRON K SUTTON was observed operating, through Defendant

MALCOLM BONDS, a karaoke system to produce a karaoke show at his

Blue Max Tavern establishment in which counterfeit goods bearing the

Sound Choice Marks were being used.

142. Upon information and belief, the karaoke system described in the preceding

paragraph is directly owned by Defendant BYRON K SUTTON and/or by

Defendant MALCOLM BONDS.

143. In connection with that show, Defendant BYRON K SUTTON acting

through Defendant MALCOLM BONDS repeatedly displayed the Sound

Choice Marks without right or license.

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144. Defendant MALCOLM BONDS has advertised or otherwise indicated that

he is in possession of a library containing over 100,000 tracks stored on its

karaoke system.

145. Defendant MALCOLM BONDS has indicated that he supplied Defendant

BYRON K SUTTON with some of his karaoke library.

146. Defendant SONNY L SCHENCK was observed operating a karaoke system

to produce a karaoke show at a venue in this State in which counterfeit

goods bearing the Sound Choice Marks were being used.

147. In connection with that show, Defendant SONNY L SCHENCK repeatedly

displayed the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

148. Defendant SONNY L SCHENCK has advertised or otherwise indicated that

he is in possession of a library containing more than 135,000 tracks stored

his karaoke system.

149. Defendant SONNY L SCHENCK has advertised or otherwise indicated that

he operates at least two separate karaoke systems to produce karaoke shows

at venues in this State.

150. Upon information and belief, each of Defendant SONNY L SCHENCK’s

karaoke systems includes a library containing more than 135,000

accompaniment tracks.

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151. Defendant DARLENE SALA was observed operating a karaoke system to

produce a karaoke show at a venue in this State in which counterfeit goods

bearing the Sound Choice Marks were being used.

152. In connection with that show, Defendant DARLENE SALA repeatedly

displayed the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

153. Defendant DARLENE SALA has advertised or otherwise indicated that she

is in possession of a library containing more than 27,000 tracks stored her

karaoke system.

154. Defendant STARZ N BARZ KARAOKE was observed operating a karaoke

system to produce a karaoke show at a venue in this State in which

counterfeit goods bearing the Sound Choice Marks were being used.

155. In connection with that show, Defendant STARZ N BARZ KARAOKE

repeatedly displayed the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

156. Defendant STARZ N BARZ KARAOKE has advertised or otherwise

indicated that it is in possession of a library containing more than 80,000

tracks stored its karaoke system.

157. Defendant RICK PAYNE was observed operating a karaoke system to

produce a karaoke show at a venue in this State in which counterfeit goods

bearing the Sound Choice Marks were being used.

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158. In connection with that show, Defendant RICK PAYNE repeatedly

displayed the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

159. Defendant RICK PAYNE has advertised or otherwise indicated that he is in

possession of a library containing more than 138,000 tracks stored his

karaoke system.

160. Defendant CHARLES CASEY ASTON operates a karaoke system to

produce karaoke shows at venues in this State in which counterfeit goods

bearing the Sound Choice Marks are used.

161. In connection with those shows, Defendant CHARLES CASEY ASTON

repeatedly displays the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

162. Upon information and belief, Defendant CHARLES CASEY ASTON has

supplied counterfeit copies of SLEP-TONE’s karaoke accompaniment tracks

to other persons without authorization or right.

163. Defendant KARAOKE WITH BILL & JOSE was observed operating a

karaoke system to produce a karaoke show at a venue in this State in which

counterfeit goods bearing the Sound Choice Marks were being used.

164. In connection with that show, Defendant KARAOKE WITH BILL & JOSE

repeatedly displayed the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

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165. Defendant KARAOKE WITH BILL & JOSE has advertised or otherwise

indicated that it is in possession of a library containing more than 150,000

tracks stored its karaoke system.

166. Defendant KARAOKE WITH BILL & JOSE operates at least one and, upon

information and belief, as many as two separate karaoke systems to produce

karaoke shows at venues in this State.

167. Defendant CASEY BURROUGH was observed operating a karaoke system

to produce a karaoke show at a venue in this State in which counterfeit

goods bearing the Sound Choice Marks were being used.

168. In connection with that show, Defendant CASEY BURROUGH repeatedly

displayed the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

169. Upon information and belief, Defendant CASEY BURROUGH constructed

at least a portion of his karaoke library by obtaining counterfeit copies of

SLEP-TONE’s karaoke accompaniment tracks.

170. Defendant JOHN DOE NO. 2 was observed operating a karaoke system to

produce a karaoke show at a venue in this State in which counterfeit goods

bearing the Sound Choice Marks were being used.

171. In connection with that show, Defendant JOHN DOE NO. 2 repeatedly

displayed the Sound Choice Marks without right or license.

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172. Defendant JOHN DOE NO. 2 has advertised or otherwise indicated that he

is in possession of a library containing more than 25,000 tracks stored his

karaoke system.

173. Based upon the popularity of SLEP-TONE’s music, the size of the

Defendants’ respective libraries (varying between 10,000 and 200,000

karaoke accompaniment tracks, operated by several of the Defendants on

multiple karaoke systems), the use by some Defendants of “burned” discs,

and the trafficking by some Defendants in counterfeit copies of the

Plaintiff’s trademarked goods, the Plaintiff has a good-faith belief that

discovery will show that each of the Defendants (a) is in possession of

unauthorized counterfeit goods bearing the Sound Choice Marks, or (b)

knowingly benefits from and has the capacity to control the infringing

conduct of others.

174. Each of the Defendants is accused of committing acts of infringement, unfair

competition, and deceptive and unfair trade practices in substantially the

same way, namely, through the use of counterfeit karaoke tracks to perform

karaoke-related services.

175. Though created through unauthorized duplication, the counterfeit karaoke

tracks obtained, made, or trafficked by the Defendants all originated, directly

or indirectly in an unbroken sequence, from the same ultimate source,

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namely, from compact discs sold by the Plaintiff and made from master

recordings belonging to the Plaintiff.

176. As such, the Plaintiff’s right to relief, as stated in the paragraphs below,

ultimately arises out of the same series of transactions and occurrences.

177. This action raises substantial questions of law and fact common to all of the

Defendants hereto.

FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT

178. Plaintiff SLEP-TONE realleges each and every allegation set forth in the

foregoing paragraphs, as though fully set forth herein, and incorporates them

herein by reference.

179. Each of the Defendants used, or authorized or directly benefited from the use

of, a reproduction, counterfeit, or copy of the Sound Choice Marks in

connection with the provision of services including karaoke services, by

manufacturing or acquiring the reproduction, counterfeit, or copy of the

Sound Choice Marks and by displaying the reproduction, counterfeit, or

copy of the Sound Choice Marks during the provision of those services.

180. The Defendants’ use of the Sound Choice Marks was “in commerce” within

the meaning of the Trademark Act of 1946 as amended.

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181. Plaintiff SLEP-TONE did not license any of the Defendants to manufacture

or acquire reproductions, counterfeits, or copies, or to use the Sound Choice

Marks in connection with the provision of their services.

182. The Defendants’ use of the Sound Choice Marks is likely to cause

confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive the Defendants’ customers and

patrons into believing that the Defendants’ services are being provided with

the authorization of the Plaintiff and that the Defendants music libraries

contain bona fide Sound Choice accompaniment tracks.

183. The acts of each of the Defendants were willful.

184. Unless enjoined by the Court, the Defendants’ infringing activities as

described above will continue unabated and will continue to cause harm to

the Plaintiff.

SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF UNFAIR COMPETITION UNDER 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)

185. Plaintiff SLEP-TONE realleges each and every allegation set forth in the

foregoing paragraphs, as though fully set forth herein, and incorporates them

herein by reference.

186. On each occasion when they caused a SLEP-TONE accompaniment track to

be played during a karaoke show, the Defendants displayed the Sound

Choice Marks in connection with the Defendants’ karaoke services.

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187. The display of the Sound Choice Marks is likely to cause confusion, or to

cause mistake, or to deceive those present during the display, in that those

present are likely to be deceived into believing, falsely, that SLEP-TONE

sponsored or approved the Defendants’ services and commercial activities.

188. The display of the Sound Choice Marks is also likely to cause confusion, or

to cause mistake, or to deceive those present during the display, in that those

present are likely to be deceived into believing, falsely, that the works being

performed were sold by SLEP-TONE and purchased by the Defendants.

189. The Defendants’ use of the Sound Choice Marks in this fashion would have

inured to the benefit of the Plaintiff if the Defendants had legitimately

acquired genuine Sound Choice discs instead of counterfeiting them or

acquiring counterfeit copies, in that the Plaintiff would have received

revenue from such sales.

190. Because SLEP-TONE has been denied this revenue, it has been damaged by

the Defendants’ uses.

191. Unless enjoined by the Court, the Defendants’ unfair competition activities

as described above will continue unabated and will continue to cause harm

to the Plaintiff.

THIRD CLAIM FOR RELIEF DECEPTIVE AND UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES

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UNDER FLA. STAT. § 501.211

192. Plaintiff SLEP-TONE realleges each and every allegation set forth in the

foregoing paragraphs, as though fully set forth herein, and incorporates them

herein by reference.

193. Each Defendant has engaged in acts of infringement of the Sound Choice

Marks, in derogation of SLEP-TONE’s common-law and statutory rights in

those marks.

194. Each Defendant’s acts of infringement occurred during the conduct of trade

or commerce.

195. Each Defendant’s acts of infringement constitute deceptive or unfair trade

practices within the meaning of Fla. Stat. § 501.204(1) (2009).

196. As a direct and proximate result of each Defendant’s acts of infringement,

SLEP-TONE has suffered a pecuniary loss, to wit: the loss of revenue

associated with sales or distribution of compact discs to karaoke jockeys,

commensurate with the demand for the contents of those discs, which

revenue would have been received but for the Defendants’ acts in creating or

acquiring counterfeits of SLEP-TONE’s accompaniment tracks.

197. As such, SLEP-TONE is an aggrieved person within the meaning of Fla.

Stat. § 501.211(1) (2009).

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PRAYER FOR RELIEF

Page 41 of 43 PageID 41

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff SLEP-TONE prays for judgment against each of the

Defendants severally and that the Court:

A. Find that each of the Defendants has committed acts of infringement,

including but not limited to counterfeiting, of the federally registered Sound

Choice Marks;

B. Find that each of the Defendants has engaged in unfair competition against

Plaintiff SLEP-TONE in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a);

C. Find that each of the Defendants has committed deceptive and unfair trade

practices under Florida law;

D. Enter judgment against each of the Defendants and in favor of SLEP-TONE;

E. Find the that Defendants’ activities were in all respects conducted willfully

and for profit;

F. Award to SLEP-TONE the Defendants’ profits and the damages sustained

by SLEP-TONE because of the Defendants’ conduct in infringing the Sound

Choice Marks, or, in the alternative, statutory damages per trademark

infringed by counterfeiting in an amount up to two million dollars per

Defendant, per mark infringed;

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G. Award to SLEP-TONE the Defendants’ profits and the damages sustained

by SLEP-TONE because of the Defendants’ acts of unfair competition under

15 U.S.C. § 1125(a);

H. Award to SLEP-TONE treble, punitive, or otherwise enhanced damages, as

available, for the Defendants’ acts of willful infringement;

I. Award to SLEP-TONE its actual damages caused by the Defendants’

deceptive and unfair trade practices, plus its attorney’s fees and court costs

as provided in Fla. Stat. § 501.2105 (2009).

J. Order that all computer disks, drives, or other media belonging to any of the

Defendants, which media contain illegal counterfeits of registered

trademarks, be delivered up or otherwise surrendered for destruction;

K. Grant SLEP-TONE preliminary and permanent injunctive relief against

further infringement of the Sound Choice Marks by the Defendants;

L. Award SLEP-TONE its costs of suit and attorney’s fees, to the extent not

awarded above; and

M. Grant SLEP-TONE such other and further relief as justice may require.

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Respectfully submitted this the 10th day of March, 2011.

HARRINGTON LAW, P.C.

By:

s/James M. Harrington

James M. Harrington, N.C. State Bar No. 30005 jharrington@harringtonlawpc.com Maria D. Floren, N.C. State Bar No. 41236 mfloren@harringtonlawpc.com Attorneys for the Plaintiff

HARRINGTON LAW, P.C. PO Box 403 Concord, North Carolina 28026-0403 Telephone: 704-315-5800 Facsimile: 704-625-9259

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